USA Today reports:
The Supreme Court handed the Trump administration a victory Tuesday by making it easier to detain undocumented immigrants with criminal records.
The justices reversed a lower court decision that required immigration officials to detain those immigrants upon release from jail or prison, rather than months or even years later. Advocates for immigrants had argued that such detentions must occur within 24 hours.
The 5-4 ruling was a victory for the Trump administration and the court’s conservative justices, who complained during oral argument in October that the government cannot detain every immigrant immediately – particularly when money and manpower are limited, and state and local governments may be opposed.
In dissent, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer questioned whether the U.S. Congress when it wrote the law “meant to allow the government to apprehend persons years after their release from prison and hold them indefinitely without a bail hearing.”
The Trump administration had appealed a lower court ruling in the case that favored immigrants, a decision it said would undermine the government’s ability to deport immigrants who have committed crimes. Trump has backed limits on legal and illegal immigrants since taking office in January 2017.
Under federal immigration law, immigrants convicted of certain offenses are subject to mandatory detention during their deportation process. They can be held indefinitely without a bond hearing after completing their sentences.
Courthouse News reports:
When the U.S. government took him into immigration detention, Preap had just served a short sentence for simple battery, but this is not one of the classes of offenses covered by the mandatory-detention scheme of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Rather Preap was subject to detention because of offenses committed years earlier — in 2006, Preap served time for two misdemeanor convictions for possession of marijuana.
After being held without a bond hearing, Preap was granted cancellation of removal and released from immigration custody. He filed suit in California with two other lawful permanent residents subjected to similar holds, Eduardo Vega Padilla and Juan Lozano Magdaleno.
Oof. This is terrible news. SCOTUS rules 5–4 that ICE may arrest and detain an unauthorized immigrant *indefinitely* once he has been taken into criminal custody. Doesn’t matter if he was released from custody months or even years ago. https://t.co/Ldw7cr9phY
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) March 19, 2019